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Morning Joe

News/Business. Interviews with newsmakers and politicians; host Joe Scarborough. New.

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Boehner 37, Us 37, John Boehner 29, Washington 28, Obama 11, Steve Rattner 10, Joe 10, New York 9, Claire Mccaskill 8, Bill Clinton 8, George W. Bush 7, Mike Barnicle 7, Bob Dole 7, David Gregory 6, U.n. 6, Brian Sullivan 6, George Bush 6, Dr. Brzezinski 6, America 6, Sam Stein 5,
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  MSNBC    Morning Joe    News/Business. Interviews with newsmakers  
   and politicians; host Joe Scarborough. New.  

    December 5, 2012
    3:00 - 6:00am PST  

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look at that. how did that get up there? thanks, guys. that's my show on cnbc," "street signs." at the top of the show, we asked you, why are you awake? and producer john tower has some of your answers. >> will says, i like the new guy, although i go to wide-screen format to accommodate his ears. >> where's the love? i'm moving awpaving the way for large-eared people worldwide.
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thanks, john. "morning joe" starts right now. our country will be heading over the fiscal cliff that we ourselves dug and put in our way. it's the set of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes that can only be averted if our nation's leaders are able to display bear bones competence and middle school-level maturity. so is there a deal? >> there's, of course, no deal. >> of course! is there a prospect for a deal? >> there's not a prospect for a deal. >> of course! but the ongoing talks. >> there aren't even very many talks going on. >> you're killing us! give us something. >> but for the first time, there
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are numbers on pieces of paper from both sides. >> numbers on paper! good morning. it's wednesday, december 5th. welcome to "morning joe." live in the nation's capital. this is exciting. and you know, i said, let's do a show from washington, d.c., because they get so much stuff done there. it's like silicon valley. and going there when steve jobs was really bringing apple to the forefront -- >> a happening place. >> it is. it's where things happen. that's why we're here, steve rattner. >> washington is the place. with us on set, economic analyst steve rattner. also political editor and white house correspondent for the huffington post, sam stein. andrea mitchell. and in new york, msnbc contributor, mike barnicle. and the co-anchor of "street signs," brian sullivan. we've got a lot to talk about, mike barnicle, but i saw a
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headline on the front page of "usa today," a tease that is very intriguing, and that is one of the greatest players in major league baseball trying to get his worth right now. and if i were a major league team, i would pass on josh hamilton in a new york second because the guy phoned it in when his team needed him the most. there's an attitude problem. and yet he could be such a huge payoff. are the red sox looking at josh hamilton? >> i think any team that's looking at hamilton is looking at no longer than three years with him because of the things you just mentioned. >> he, of course, had an addiction problem, a terrible addiction problem. he got passed -- it was an inspiring story, but he seemed to fall off the cliff. not on alcohol or drugs, but something's up. >> yeah, he appeared to be mailing in his at-bats during the month of september when texas really needed him. and in the playoffs when texas really needed him. but, you know, there's going to be someone out there, joe. you know how this goes. everyone knows how this goes who
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watches professional sports. there will be some owner of some team who will give him four or five years and huge, huge money because -- >> i know who it's going to be. the new york jets. >> i think he's going to go back to texas. >> i think the new york jets are going to give him a long-term contract at quarterback. sorry, i've just got to say it. so let's talk about the fiscal cliff. >> you don't want to stick on it? >> you want to stick on this? the thing about josh hamilton is, in the 162nd game of the year. >> yeah. >> he basically let a pop fly fall in front of him. >> yeah. >> no effort. >> the irony, of course, is that he probably has the sweetest swing and the most pure talent in baseball. and when he's on, there's no one better. i think he had a four-home run game where every ball was a line drive. it was right on the peg of the bat. if he put it all together, he would have been sitting pretty right now. >> he would have. so fiscal warnings yet to faze
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wall street. steve rattner, this is a good one to talk to you about with congress and the president seeming to be further and further apart. we're starting to hear well, maybe we can survive the fiscal cliff for a little while. what's going on? >> no, i don't think wall street is saying we can survive fiscal cliff. they're saying i'm not sure we're going over the fiscal cliff. right after the election wall street dropped 5% when everybody suddenly focused on the fiscal cliff and realized that this was a problem. but since then it's kind of bumped along at this sort of level. i don't think wall street is at all sanguine about the idea that if we went over the fiscal cliff, life would go on as we know it and everything would be fine. >> one of the things that was really interesting to me to bear out that point is ken conrad yesterday who's been so down, i mean, he's leaving the senate. he's done this for seven years. they can't produce deals. and yesterday when i interviewed him, joe, he said i think we're going to make this. i think the boehner offer had significant indicators that something here is going on, and they're going to come together. >> also, kent conrad, a guy --
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i've loved him for a long time, deficit hawk. they haven't allowed him to put a budget out for years. he's growing frustrated. i'm sure he's going to be glad to leave. but i was surprised by that as well. you see also, sam stein, republicans are now starting to really bash boehner from the right. the president needs to take note. he needs to take note. >> give him some running room. >> i'm only saying this because you remember, we went through this with newt. you know, bill clinton would push newt only so far, and then the conservatives in the caucus like myself and matt salmon, steve largent and others would say we're not doing a deal. we will take this place down. we're not doing a deal. and then newt would call bill clinton up and say, you're pushing me too far. you've got to work with me here. the same thing's happening right now with boehner. >> with boehner. >> the republican -- and when you start stripping people of committee -- committee seats, war breaks out and it gets really -- it happened with us. it's about to happen here.
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he's got to realize that boehner is his partner. >> it feels like we're at a really critical moment here with respect to boehner. and he can choose one of two paths. he could choose the recalcitrant path, which is perfectly possible, or he can say to himself, okay, i need to build a coalition for the purposes of this fiscal cliff deal. that includes house democrats. and how do i go about doing that without totally alienating the base of my party? and i'm very curious to see what his next step is because his opening offer was essentially where he said he could only go in the debt ceiling bargains of july 2011. he said i can go to $800 billion in revenue, i can do these specific entitlement reforms. that's now his opening offer. where does he go here? >> i think, though, steve that the president of the united states and mr. lew and other democrats need to start looking at him differently. he is like an attorney that knows what his client is going
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to give and what his client's not going to give. we all know john boehner. john boehner's a deal maker. i didn't -- i liked him personally, but i never trusted him in congress because, you know, he liked making deals. that's what we need right now. the president can only push him so far. or he loses his caucus. and this is not about john boehner kicking and screaming. this is about him knowing what he can deliver. >> i understand that. john boehner has, and eric cantor and a paul ryan problem, he's got to keep them on board as his key guys. he can only go so far. i would guess that they're the ones holding the pen when he wrote, "i will not raise rates" in that letter he sent to president obama. but the problem is, we can agree or disagree with the president's position. i honestly take the president at his word. i do not believe there will be a deal here without some increase in tax rates for the top 2%. it doesn't have to be all of it, but some of it. i think the president has changed his tune a bit from the way he's handled some of these
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other negotiations. and take everything you say and turn it around. boehner and the republicans have to be aware of where obama's at in his own head and with his colleagues, which is no deal without some increase in rates, or we go over the cliff. >> let me just add one thing. when obama made that initial offer, we talked a little bit about how, you know, it was a wish list. it was ideological, whatever you want to say. i think it actually helped boehner in some respects because it gave him three or four things that he could then go back to his caucus and say, look, i moved obama off of this, this and this. and when boehner put his offer out there, you started to see what could potentially be a chip-trading process going on here, whereby you have some give on, you know, cpi, the inflation index for social security, and in exchange boehner would agree to some marginal rate in the tax rates. now the people need to start figuring out what they want to give and take. >> the only difference i would say, steve, between what the president wants and john boehner is it's not what john boehner wants. it's what john boehner can
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deliver. >> yeah. >> and this is a simple vote-counting measure. in his first interview since the election, president obama reiterated his demand that any deal has to raise taxes on the highest earners. but yesterday the president also appeared to show a little bit of flexibility in lowering those tax rates in the future. take a listen to what he said. >> i don't think that the issue right now has to do with sitting in a room. the issue right now that's relevant is the acknowledgment that if we're going to raise revenues that are sufficient to balance with the very tough cuts that we've already made and the further reforms and entitlements that i'm prepared to make, that we're going to have to see the rates on the top 2% go up. and we're not going to be able to get a deal -- what i've suggested is, let's essentially put a down payment on taxes. let's let tax rates on the upper income folks go up. and then let's set up a process with a time certain at the end
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of 2013 or the fall of 2013 where we work on tax reform. we look at what loopholes and deductions both democrats and republicans are willing to close. and it's possible that we may be able to lower rates by broadening the base at that point. >> mike, that, with all due respect to the president of the united states, that's never going to happen. and republicans are not going to raise taxes and say, well, maybe we'll cut taxes later on. it's not going to happen. but i do -- i do sense, in some things the president said and in some things john boehner has said, a possible pathway forward, but both sides really have to understand the limits of what the other side can bring. >> but look what's going on on both sides. on the president's side, he's got the left. he's got nancy pelosi and several other, you know, prominent democrats pushing him from the left. boehner has a more difficult path to negotiate.
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he's got jim demint in the senate hollering each and every day. he's got his own problems in the house, as we've just spoken to. within the context of this, jack lew, chief of staff, along with treasury geithner, is sitting there every day trying to put something together. jack lew 30 years ago was working for tip o'neill. he knows the rough architecture of a road map towards a deal. one of the keys, especially with regard to speaker boehner is, you cannot leave your opponent, speaker boehner, hanging out there to dry, getting pummeled by his own side. you've got to come to him a little. but i agree with steve rattner, the president is not going to yield on tax rates for the wealthy. he's not going to yield on that. >> he's going to have to yield in some way. i mean, maybe it's 37% that's the top tax rate. >> yeah. >> maybe you go from $250,000 to
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$400,000 or $250,000 to $500,000. he's going to have to yield. but mike, what jack lew and the president of the united states must know is john boehner is his best-case scenario. if john boehner goes down in an inner party squabble, they're going to have eric cantor next. >> yeah. >> and eric is not going to compromise any more than a lot of the more conservative members are going to compromise. there is no ghost of nelson rockefeller that's going to rise from the potomac and take the speaker's chair for the republicans. you've got the best that you're ever going to get, and you'd better figure out how to work the numbers. >> but hey, joe, let me give you a reason to feel good this tuesday because that's what i like to do. >> yeah, that's you. >> listen to the two sides. you've got boehner saying all revenue raised from caps and deductions over here. the president with his plan over here. i really believe -- and see if you agree, maybe steven agrees with this -- the answer's going
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to be in the middle because they're starting from these positions. i have a feeling that when a deal is done -- and i think one will get done, barnicle, i know you're a pessimist, i'm an optimist -- they're going to raise that $250,000. that will be a gift to the republicans. and then maybe we'll see reducing mortgage interest deductions from $1 million, which is how much you can deduct now, to $750,000. it will be somewhere in the middle between those two things. >> second homes, and there's a lot of running room there, you're right. i think one of the problems here is that you don't have relationships. boehner and the president, very little trust, even though, as you've pointed out, joe, john boehner is right now the best friend that bill clinton -- that, excuse me, that barack obama in wanting a deal can have. but unlike bill clinton, they don't have relationships. boehner was there sunday night for the congressional christmas party. there was no conversation even monday night. i don't understand that. >> andrea, it's just bizarre,
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isn't it? i have seen the worst political enemies get together at events like that, shake hands, talk, commiserate about how tough -- i mean, i've never seen -- i have never seen washington like this, and i was here in the '90s when it was really, really ugly. >> you saw impeachment. you saw other things going on. >> bill clinton and newt gingrich had a personal conversation. both of them told me on the day bill clinton was being impeached, they were talking about iraq. they were talking about other personal things. they were saying, we're going to get through this. and when we get through this, we've got a lot of bigger things to work. that doesn't happen, does it, andrea? >> during impeachment, bill clinton was having people to camp david and talking to people who were putting him on trial in the senate. there is a lot of talk right now in washington among democrats, among democratic senate chairs, among democratic senate chairs
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who broke with the clintons and went with obama early on, who have yet to get a phone call from the white house in four years. they have not -- these people feel that they just want a little love. and it doesn't cost much. >> andrea, when you say that, people think that i'm just saying that as a republican. i always discount republican criticisms of the president. i always have. i'm talking about the same people you're talking about. >> i know. >> i'm talking about the top democrats in the united states senate that say -- >> he just doesn't like it. >> he doesn't want to talk to us. he doesn't like us. he doesn't want to deal with us. >> when you're in politics and you run for president, that's the problem. and there are some things you've got to do. i'm sure they don't want to stand in receiving lines and greet thousands of people this christmas season, but they do that. >> they do it, yeah. steve, we're not piling this all on the president. you have republicans that haven't wanted to make a deal for a very long time. and i guess the question is, how do you make the deal? do you start by getting -- because barack obama said --
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and, again, all due respect, he couldn't be any more wrong. he said, you don't get this done by sitting in a room. yes, you do. yes, you do. you're a businessman. you know. that's how you get the deal done. what can you live with? >> i think the problem, though, that the president may have been alluding to is everything we've just been saying, for him to sit in a room with john boehner doesn't necessarily get the deal done because john boehner doesn't necessarily speak for enough republicans. >> john boehner knows what he can get from his congress and what he can't, right? >> yes. and i think that's exactly why that letter was so firm on rates, where he just did not leave himself one bit of wiggle room. he said, i am not going to raise tax rates, period. you've heard the president say that he's going to raise rates, but he's not insisting on 39.6. he's willing to compromise. you heard the president put entitlements on the table and say i'm willing to do stuff on entitlements. there's talk about raising medicare age, the social security cost of living adjustment, but boehner is just stuck in this corner on rates.
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>> hey, mike barnicle, we're talking about the president right now because a lot of us believe, you know, that's where the buck stops, and that's where you get the negotiations going. we don't want to overlook, though, a new "washington post"/pew research poll that shows americans are blaming the problems of these negotiations on republicans. 53% are blaming congressional republicans. 27% are blaming barack obama. 12% are blaming both equally republicans are shouldering the blame by a 2-1 margin. and of those polled, 49% don't expect a deal to be reached by a deadline compared to 40% who do. here we have, again, a serious problem with republican branding. and branding comes from reality. people -- their natural instinct is to blame the republican party when standoffs like this occur. >> i'm surprised the number of
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53% is that low. i would think it would be much higher than that. people get their news of politics today through television. so they see the republicans going after susan rice for four or five weeks or for three or four weeks. they now see the republicans seemingly standing in the way of a deal that could cost them in terms of their paychecks, money coming out of their paychecks at the expense of protecting rich people. that's what they see. that's what they take in. then they're asked, you know, who do you blame? there's only one obvious answer to most people, the republicans. they're going to bear the brunt of this. they are doing tremendous damage to their brand. and they have done tremendous damage to their brand over the last ten months during the election cycle and now during this negotiating process. >> they certainly have. i would only add a kauf yaccave stein, if republicans want to destroy their brand for good, make the term "republican"
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absolutely meaningless, go ahead and support tax increases without getting appropriate cuts, corresponding cuts. and this idea that some are suggesting that they just cave because it will make things easier, no. if they cave, raise taxes and get nothing in return of substance -- >> then what's the point of being a republican? >> -- what's the point of being a republican? they destroy their entire base, they destroy the party. and it's a nightmare for them. >> joe, can i jump in? i'm sorry, it's brian sullivan. i agree with you completely. here's the thing. i can't believe i agree with you. the republicans have got to take this off the table by agreeing with the president in part on the tax hikes. it's such a small part of our deficit problem. it's really a couple percent. but listen to us. it's dominating 95% of the national dialogue. go with it so we can move on to the big deals. >> yeah. >> republicans could declare a victory here. they could give a little bit, get a bunch on entitlements, get a big deficit reduction package. >> that's my point. there's an interesting tidbit in the times that we haven't talks
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about, but it gets to this point, which is republicans don't really want this tax cut fight, even though they know it's good for their brand. but they want to figure out a way out of it. and you increasingly see some anonymous republicans quoted in the paper saying let's get rid of this tax cut fight and move to a debt ceiling fight. so now they're looking at this fallback option where they say we'll agree to an extension of the bush tax rates below $250,000, push the debt ceiling fight and attach all the cuts there and we'll hold that hostage again. you know, i think we can read between the lines. i think the polling is looking increasingly bleak for the republican party. i think it's very clear that the president is willing to go off the cliff with respect to the tax hikes. >> right. >> there's not much boehner can actually do. >> and we've got to go to break. really quickly, steve, you've got to pick up on brian sullivan's point. that if you talk about the tax credits that the president is proposing that we're talking about, 95% of the time, it is such a small percentage of the national debt compared to
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medicare, medicaid. and yet it's consuming 95% of the conversation. >> it's so symbolic, though. >> it's symbolic. >> it's symbolic. >> it's symbolic. >> here's another point. the republicans are on the verge of achieving something that is really quite remarkable. the bush tax cuts were meant to be temporary. and they expire, as we all know. they are going to get 98% of these tax cuts made permanent. they could declare a victory. >> can we just stop and let that breathe in for a second? let's breathe that in for a second. the obama administration has basically -- basically, they are tony blair to george w. bush's margaret thatcher. they have said, we have to keep 98% of the bush tax cuts in place for the betterment of the economy. >> it's so much bigger than that. >> they have won. >> republicans won. >> we have won. tax breaks. >> so to give a couple of percentage points to 2% of people. >> it could be so much bigger because the conversation has been shifted to how do we reduce our deficit.
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>> brian sullivan, thank you so much. greatly appreciate your insights. thanks for being with us on "way too early." you can catch brian on cnbc's "street signs" at 2:00 p.m. he is the hardest working man in show business, or at least on the other side of the river. coming up this morning, we've got republican senator tom coburn. can't wait to talk to tom. also, tom cole will be here on set. that's great. we're going to ask him what he was thinking last week. i'm joking. congressman. also, democratic senator claire mccaskill. can you believe this? and congressman chris van hollen. also, we're going to bring in former national security adviser dr. brzezinski. and straight ahead, mike allen with the top stories from "politico." and mika should be jetting in from the south of france just in time to say hello to her father. first, though, let's send it to bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> good morning to you, joe. you got to d.c. a day too late. yesterday, it had to have been the warmest day you'll see probably till about april. it was 72 degrees yesterday in
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washington, d.c. it was even in the 60s all the way as far north as buffalo, syracuse and rochester. things are coming back to reality. cold front's heading through. chillier air is arriving, especially western new york. some showers out ahead of that front. if you're leaving the house now in maine, coastal new hampshire down through boston out on the cape, you're going to get light showers over the next hour or on two. you also have a few showers that will be ending shortly. look how warm it is when you step out your door. even at this hour, philadelphia. but look back to your west. the colder air is arriving. already in the 30s, pittsburgh and buffalo. and even buffalo could get snow showers later on today. the rest of the country, some chillier air but not bad for this time of year. the southern half of the nation, you're not going to get this cooler air. you're going to stay mild today right through the weekend. temperatures in the upper 60s to low 70s. even a sneak peek at tomorrow shows a sunny, beautiful december day in the mid-atlantic and northeast. albeit a little bit -- that was the worst throw ever, barnicle. come on.
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there. oh. a little ricochet. we'll work on our father/son catch games. you're watching "morning joe," everyone, brewed by starbucks. [ male announcer ] when this hotel added aflac to provide a better benefits package... oahhh! [ male announcer ] it made a big splash with the employees. [ duck yelling ] [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] ...forbusiness.com. ♪ ha ha! ♪ you make me happy [ female announcer ] choose the same brand your mom trusted for you. children's tylenol, the #1 brand of pain and fever relief recommended by pediatricians and used by moms decade after decade.
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welcome back to "morning joe." as you take a live look at the nation's capitol. let's take a look at the "morning papers." we start with our parade of papers, "the kansas city star." andrea, chime in here. despite a dramatic appearance from 89-year-old former senator bob dole, the senate failed to pass a u.n. disability treaty by just five votes. combat veterans like senators john mccain and john kerry delivered impassioned speeches, but dissenting voters said the treaty could pose a threat to national sovereignty.
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this is a stretch. more than 150 countries have signed the treaty designed to create unilateral rights for people with disabilities. it's actually based on america's ada act which bob dole helped pass more than 20 years ago. and you know, andrea, watching this american hero on the floor, a guy who is disabled, left part of himself, as he has said and others have said, on the battlefields of western europe, coming in and making a plea. i'm really surprised that this was killed by fringe concerns, fringe, fringe concerns. >> and it was, in fact, his fellow senators, several of the people who served with bob dole, who were the key votes here. and john kerry was leading it on the floor with john mccain. it was one of those bipartisan coalitions of veterans, wounded
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veterans, mccain and others, and the wounded warriors. the chamber of commerce. this is basically to take the american standard that bush 41 passed. it was his bill. >> george bush. >> george bush 41's bill spread it to the rest of the world. his son, george w., approved this treaty. it was sent up by president obama in '09, the senate foreign relations committee passed it easily, and then these republicans abandoned it on the floor. people are crying on the senate floor. >> john mccain gave such a passionate speech. so you have, mike barnicle, american hero, war veteran, john mccain, talking about how we help the disabled across the world with weeping american heroes who were wounded in war, watching.
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you have the standard set by one republican president. the treaty drawn up by another republican president, george w. bush. and voted down with bob dole yet another american hero, war hero, watching. i'm actually dumbfounded. i'm dumbfounded. sploo joe, pick the adjective, sad, pathetic, outrageous, incomprehensible. these people in washington in both the house and the, they do not know each other anymore. they have no friendships across the aisle anymore. they don't know one another's families anymore. you have this spectacle yesterday, you know, which is outrageous. and then we're talking about, geez, we hope they get together and get a deal, you know, on taxes, on the budget. the process is horrendously broken. it should be dismantled. money should be removed from politics. these people should be forced to
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live with one another, to get to know one another again. can you imagine doerksen, akin, javits, giants of the senate pass witnessing something like this? >> john kerry said it was the saddest day of nearly 28 years in the senate. >> wow. >> he said, this place is dysfunctional. and he was just that distressed. >> well, so many war heros, younger and older, came to support this bill. it was the right thing to do. and those that are suggesting that this treaty in any way would compromise u.s. sovereignty are living in an alternate reality. and i've got to say, too, it's another example of how the republicans continue to damage their brand. these sort of votes, these sort of stories have a lasting impact. i've talked about it for three years now.
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it is scar tissue that's slowly but surely builds up where good, doesn't, hardworking americans see what's going on in washington, d.c., and they're not even ideological. and they go, wait a second. we have wounded warriors here? we have american heroes? we have people that have voted their entire life to try to help other wounded warriors across the globe? and they're voted down by what is, in effect, the black helicopter crowd. >> exactly. >> this has impact on the republican party. it's more scar tissue. republicans, you need to get this back on the senate floor, and you need to pass it. the whole world may not be watching, but swing voters are. independent voters are. and what happens every day has an impact on what will happen two years from now and four years from now. and we learned that a couple of weeks ago. with us now, we've got chief white house correspondent for
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"politico," mike allen, here with the morning "playbook." mike, "politico's" lead story is how democrats are pleading with the obama campaign to share their data. lots of luck. explain. >> no, you're very wise. so this data vault that the obama campaign put together -- and there are estimates that the campaign spent $100 million writing their own software, building this database. and this isn't the old name rank, serial number databases that campaigns had in the past. this is layers and layers of data about each of their supporters. their social media contacts. their car registrations. their propensity to volunteer as well as cell phone er, e-mail. this is very valuable. as you know, that can perish very quickly. it can get obsolete. in obama world, they're talking about how to maintain this data, how to work this muscle, keep this database vibrant.
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they've already started this week. i think all of you probably got the e-mail from stephanie cutter, the deputy campaign manager, reaching out to the millions of obama supporters, asking them to post a story about how a $2,000 tax break, which is at stake on december 31st, would help them. meanwhile, all these republican candidates progressive groups, anybody who has something up in 2014, their mouths are watering for this data. and the obama campaign for now is not saying what they're going to do with it. i think they'll wait till closer to the inauguration. louis romano reports in the story now leading "politico" that they may form a nonprofit group to maintain it. it probably won't go over in the democratic national committee. it's so valuable, they're going to keep it to support the president's agenda. and one way to do that is democratic candidates. they'll eventually get to use it, but they won't get to hold it. >> all right. very good. mike allen, thank you so much. it's always great talking to
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you. and coming up next, rg3 makes a courtside cameo at last nights wizards game and gets a well-deserved standing ovation. that's coming up next. and andrea's about to give him a standing ovation now. we're talking sports next. with the spark cash card from capital one, olaf gets great rewards for his small business! pizza! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! helium delivery. put it on my spark card! [ pop! ] [ garth ] why settle for less? great businesses deserve great rewards! awesome!!! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet?
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here i am with all my closest friends, all right? the toy department. now sports, it's not often that the appearance of lebron james can top the appearance of someone else, but there he is, robert griffin iii, rg3, standing ovation when he shows up at the heat's game playing in washington. fourth quarter, jordan crawford's jumper falls. wizards, four-point lead with under three minutes to play. now less than two remaining. lebron james drives to the hoop. let's see him drive to the hoop. i missed it. okay. anyway, i don't even care what happened in the basketball game. wizards up by three. lebron, look, here he is. this is after the game. look at this. this kid is going to be, if he's not already, the face of the national football league. he is phenomenal. there's a series of rookie
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quarterbacks in the nfl this year. rg3 is one of them. russell wilson out in seattle, west coast, very few people get to see him play. andrew luck, he's tremendous in indianapolis. but andrea, rg3 in washington, you're a season ticket holder. you're in love with the guy. talk about him. >> well, first of all, he is -- he's a real leader. he's really smart. he's very well educated, has a graduate degree. he was raised all over the world because his parents were both in the military, both of them. and he has these core values. he was elected captain by his teammates as a rookie quarterback early on because he's signified this. i mean, this is a guy who helped put six points on the board after fumbling, a rare fumble, if you saw that play on monday night. >> yeah. >> sort of a weird play. we were all screaming, you know, that was a fumble! because obviously, if it hadn't been, it wouldn't have been six points. mike, he is really a very special character.
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this is not just spin. >> sam stein, i realize you went to school in the woods up there in dartmouth, but the idea of living in a metropolitan area, washington, d.c., where nearly everyone is obsessed with a single individual, the quarterback of the washington redskins, is incredible. >> andrea says this is not spin, but she's literally spinning. it's unbelievable, she's so happy with this guy. he fumbles correctly, this man walks on water to every washingtonian. as a giants fan, i'm bitter about this. >> you don't want to talk about the ivy league championship. >> more nba news. yahoo! sports is reporting the new orleans hornets might be renamed the new orleans pelicans as soon as the 2013/2014 season. owner tom benson who owns the saints football team is seeking a name more appropriate for the team's louisiana home and reportedly also considered the crew and the brass before settling on the louisiana state bird. why we're reading this, i have no idea, but i do now, because
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we have come up with a graphic here, the "morning joe" graphic team has been hard at work. this is their best estimation of what a new orleans pelicans logo could look like. take a peek at that and you'd want to play anywhere other than new orleans wearing a uniform like that. oh, well. okay. coming up, the phrase is hurting cats. political columnist matt lewis explains why speaker john boehner has the most thankless job in washington. we're going to be right back here on "morning joe." [ male announcer ] this is bob,
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ask your doctor about once-a-day xarelto®. for more information including cost support options, call 1-888-xarelto or visit goxarelto.com. for more information including cost support options, when you take a closer look... ...at the best schools in the world... ...you see they all have something very interesting in common. they have teachers... ...with a deeper knowledge of their subjects. as a result, their students achieve at a higher level. let's develop more stars in education. let's invest in our teachers... ...so they can inspire our students. let's solve this. 46 past the hour. >> my goodness. >> welcome back to "morning joe." >> oh, my goodness, you showed
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up. how was nice this morning? >> god, i don't go to nice. >> i don't understand, so you're flying back, when do you have to fly back from nice to get here in time? >> i don't. rattner would know. >> supersonic. transmogrifies. >> don't do that because everyone thinks i go to the south of france. >> you do all the time. who's with us? >> here with us now, senior contributor and columnist for the peek, matt lewis. >> he goes to south georgia. >> how is south georgia this time of year? he writes in "the week," "the most underappreciated political trend of our time maying the loss of power wielded by the speaker of the house. through little fault of his own, john boehner has essentially become a feckless herder of cats. has any job deteriorated faster than the speaker of the house? the position was once powerful and revered. today, it's a mostly thankless job that consists of lots of responsibility but little power. it's almost like going from being a rodeo cowboy to a rodeo
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clown all in the span of a generation. when we think of great congressional leaders, we think of powerful politicians like lbj, the master of the senate, or house speakers like sam raburn, tip o'neill or even newt gingrich. all of these leaders had much, much more leverage than boehner." wow! ouch! >> nancy pelosi was a powerful speaker. what's happened? why is john boehner a feckless herder of cats, in your words? >> i think some want to say that boehner is weak or that the republican freshmen are too fringy. i think there's a culmination of a few factors. one, speakers used to have the earmarks. they could kind of brag you with. you're going to get a bridge in your district. that's pretty much off the table. i think that our culture, our society doesn't respect leaders the way that it used to, and institutions. and i think that's manifesting itself in politics. but i also -- >> you also -- >> that's an incredible point. >> it's broken up. >> the internet has played into that. >> and also clubs like the group
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for growth. it used to be the party apparatus was the only game in town essentially. if they said jump, you asked how high. now you could be a member of congress that says, hey, i don't care what the speaker says because i'm going to have an outside group help get me elected. and in fact, it might be smart politics to be against the leadership. >> it certainly was for me. to not only challenge my republican leadership but also challenge, obviously, bill clinton which brings us up to the next point, which is that we constantly were challenging newt. a great example of it was mark newman. mark newman from wisconsin. he was on the appropriations committee. and you know the story. >> yeah. >> he voted against one of bob livingston's appropriations bills. and he was taken off the committee. and all the freshmen. we all signed a letter saying, put him back on the committee or we're going to vote against every bill you send up. we have a replay of that going on right now. >> right.
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so speakers -- >> oh, by the way, they put him back on the committee that week. >> speakers of the house used to have more carrots and sticks than they do now. one of the only sort of pieces of leverage or leverage that john boehner has are the committee assignments. and we saw that happen. and by the way, our friend john stattuck went through this. we had members of congress who were purged from committee assignments like on the budget committee and just this week, a lot of conservatives are outraged by this. but, you know, and i understand why they are, but honestly, it's almost the only thing john boehner can do to reward his friends and punish his enemies is the committee assignments. >> it sounds like you think this is potentially a more permanent change in the system rather than simply a function of the fact that at the moment, you have a republican party that's somewhat divided and boehner can't control their cantors and the paul ryans. you think this is more structural, more long term, less likely to actually go back to the old model of sam raburn or tip o'neill. >> right.
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i do think there are some unique circumstances, challenges that john boehner faces. having, in 2010, you had all of these new freshmen conservatives ushered in, and tea party, so they weren't establishment. having said that, i think this is part of a larger trend. we see a trend with outside groups. also, again, jopt to overplay it, but i think in our society, you used to work at the same job your whole life, retire with a gold watch, be married the same person your whole life. most people were. you'd go to the same church your whole life and belong to a church. now the world has changed. i think since vietnam, we've lost a certain respect for bosses and authority. i think it's not surprising that eventually that would manifest itself in our politics. we don't kowtow to leaders the way we used to. >> you know, back when i first ran, just looking how things have changed and how high a hierarchical it was. they sent you faxes every day. you had one basically source of
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information, and it was the same thing with the funding. now, they didn't give me any money because they supported another candidate. i know this will shock you, rattner, newt thought i was way too conservative to win a seat that no republican had won since the 1870s. but i could tell with all my other friends when i got up there, people gave them money if newt told them to give -- like newt controlled the money. now it's all broken up. >> but that sense of authority that you're talking about, i can definitely see what you're seeing wherein that there have been very disrespectful things, for example, said about the president. and it's been ugly. but then you think, it was really ugly under bush. people were extremely disrespectful to him. go back to clinton. we don't need to say any more. hasn't some of this been around? >> yeah, absolutely. i don't want to overplay it. this has been around forever. we've always had challenges. but i think the internet and i think the rise of outside groups empowers people to be free agents in a way that they didn't used to be. >> can i play a quick devil's
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advocate theory? couldn't boehner have made a real legacy that said i accept the debt deal that obama and i are negotiating which is essentially his opening offer now? wouldn't that have been the legacy that he could have rested his hat on? >> it would have been interesting. he essentially attempted to be a representative of his caucus rather than a leader of his caucus. >> exactly. >> it would have been interesting. i think he could have either been a great leader or burned and gone -- been taken down. it was a 50/50 proposition. >> all right. matt lewis, thank you so much. >> thank you, matt. >> fascinating. incredible read, "herding cats." still ahead -- it's just cruel. i felt bat readid reading it. you know where i stand. >> cures cancer. >> let's see. >> okay. coming up, we're going to bring in republican congressman tom cole who broke ranks with
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his party over the tax debate last week. can't wait to talk to him and get his insights. also, we'll be talking foreign policy with national security adviser dr. brzezinski. keep it right here on "morning joe." music is a universal language. but when i was in an accident... i was worried the health care system spoke a language all its own with unitedhealthcare, i got help that fit my life. information on my phone. connection to doctors who get where i'm from. and tools to estimate what my care may cost. so i never missed a beat. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
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coming up on "morning joe" from the senate finance committee, we'll talk to senator tom coburn. >> this is huge! >> also, if you can believe it, the moderator of "meet the press," david gregory, will be joining us as well. >> not as big as tom. >> yes. keep it right here on "morning joe." you won't take my life. you won't take our future. aids affects us all. even babies. chevron is working to stop mother-to-child transmission. our employees and their families are part of the fight. and we're winning. at chevron nigeria, we haven't had a reported case in 12 years. aids is strong. aids is strong. but we are stronger. and aids... ♪ aids is going to lose. aids is going to lose. ♪ aids is going to lose. aids is going to lose. meet the 5-passenger ford c-max hybrid. when you're carrying a lot of weight, c-max has a nice little trait,
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stop this back-and-forth of offers. it's pretty clear the republicans aren't ever going to
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come to the table with anything even reasonable. i'll say it. i know it will be disastrous. i know it will doom our economy for years to come, but let's just go over the [ bleep ] cliff. fine. let's just go. just leave the negotiating tables and send us over the cliff. because you know why? at least for a few seconds, it will feel like we're flying. >> welcome back to "morning joe." it is the top of the hour. look at that shot of new york city. >> beautiful. >> how beautiful. >> beautiful. glad we're here. >> good morning, everyone. >> all right. you want to be happy? take a look at washington. >> look at that shot, man. >> how can you not be happy? >> i just said, you showed a picture of gotham and the clouds, and i'm glad we're here. >> look at this incredible cast of characters. steve rattner still with us along with mike barnicle in new york. joining us on set, republican senator from oklahoma, senator tom coburn who served in the bipartisan simpson-bowles commission two years ago.
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and the moderator of "meet the press," david gregory, not bad. not bad at all. >> where are we, tom? where are we, buddy? >> i have no idea. >> that's not good because you make sense. >> i'm trying to get home. >> yeah. you are, and you said it beforehand, and obviously for those that haven't watched, don't know, you and i obviously were part of the '94 class. very, very conservative, especially on fiscal issues. it's why you ran, why i ran. but you've been willing to get out of your comfort zone. you've been willing to say a lot of things that you don't like saying in order to save the country. when's the rest of washington going to follow you? >> well, it needs leadership. look, what's the big problem? what's the big problem we have? we have $88 trillion worth of unfinded liabilities and we have no idea how we're going to pay for them. we have a fiscal cliff which we describe now that everybody's talking about at the end of this year, that's not the cliff. the cliff is the unsustainable
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debt we have. and unless, in my estimation, a lot of economists, you're not going to put us on a path to prosperity unless you take about $9 trillion out over the next ten years. and we're barely talking $4 trillion. >> yeah, nobody's talking $9 trillion. >> yeah. and $9 trillion is the only thing that actually solves this. so we're sitting here as a country, we have made commitments that have to be rearranged and made more efficient. we have a tax structure that is subpar to what we need for our economy in terms of our historical averages. and nobody's talking long run. everybody's talking december 31st. >> i know. you see john boehner's proposal, he was very critical of the president's proposaproposal, it nonstarter, but boehner comes out talking cutting $2.2 trillion. you talk about $9 trillion needed over the next ten years. look at the past four years. we've almost added $5 trillion to the national debt. over the next four years, we're
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going to add another 4 to $ $5 trillion. over the president's two terms, and we're struggling to get 2, $3 trillion in savings? >> yeah. >> the math doesn't add up. >> you know, a lot of people worry about our debt-to-gdp ratio. and we compare it to all of the rest of the world. and we say internal debt, we're at 65% or 70%, but that's not accurate because of the rest of the world takes their total debt. we exclude our state and municipal debt. we're at 120% right now. so we're in trouble. >> so i'm worried because he's worried. and you usually are the sort of -- make a lot of sense, and people usually turn to you as the guy that can bring people together or have at least a practical concept of what's going on even if you have one point of view. david gregory, what's changed since the election? what's different in this process?
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what do you see that maybe is a sign that there is a possibility here? >> well, i think -- i don't think it's a great sign. i mean, i think the only thing that's changed since the election is that you have both republicans in the white house who decided to make this a completely outside game. take it directly to the people. and i think a lot of this discussion, senator, about entitlements and overall spending is being overwhelmed by what we're still in the middle of, which is an ideological battle over taxes. and i feel like until that gets resolved in some way, we're not going to be able to get to some of the other pieces of this. i think the president could do more to confuse, confound republicans if he were to say, i feel very strongly on the revenue questions, on taxes, but we do have a spending problem. you know, clinton took that approach in 1993. he cut defense way back. i think the president could do a little bit more to attract some people over to his side if he did that. but i'm just struck by the fact that we've got this completely outside game. >> right. >> there's not a lot going on on the inside in terms of real negotiation. but we'll get there.
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>> and steve, this is a point we brought up last hour. you know, everybody is debating over raising top rates for people making $250,000 or more. you look -- tom's talking about $88 trillion. you look at the small percentage, these tax increases as part of the bigger problem, and you realize that we're not even having a serious discussion right now. we're obsessed on something that's not going to save us. >> well, that's true. first, with respect to what david said, i think partly why they're playing an outside game is because they've been criticized in the past of playing too much of an inside game. the president's criticized himself for not taking his message outside, telling his story. secondly, i do think the president has talked about spending. he has put entitlements on the table. it's sort of a crack in the door, if you will. but as you said, and i'd love to get the senator's view, it really comes down to this
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impasse over tax rates. the president said they have to go up, but he's indicated they don't have to go up all the way to 39.6%. but the boehner letter said no increase in tax rates, period. so how do we get off that dime? >> why don't we forget -- why don't we think about revenue instead of rates? what the fear of the fiscal conservatives are is do you damage economic growth? can you take $800 billion out of the revenue code in a way that's not as negative for capital formation? as would be just rates? so my point -- i don't -- personally, i know we have to raise revenue. i don't really care which way we do it. i would rather see the rates go up than do it the other way because it gives us greater chance to reform the tax code and broaden the base in the future. but to me, i think they're arguing over semantics. $800 billion is $800 billion. and it's still going to be a
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negative drag on the economy. >> to your point, steve -- >> it's not quite semantics, though, in the sense that first of all, the president doesn't think 800 is the right number. we can all imagine where the midpoint of that is, it's 1.2. >> i don't think we'll ever see that. >> what do you think the maximum number is? >> we put forward in july of $2011 $9 trillion plan, had $1 trillion of tax increases in it, had $8 trillion of other savings of which a significant portion was interest. and i can show, if people would sit down and look at it, you know, all my colleagues say it's all in entitlements, it's not all entitlements. government's twice the size it was 11 years ago. and a good portion of that's discretionary. military, my colleagues have kind of a blind eye when it comes to the defense department. there's so much waste in the defense department, it's unbelievable. we could take another $50 billion, in my estimation, or $40 billion a year out of the defense department if we ran it
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right. you know, we have 1200 generals and flag officers now. at the end of world war ii, we had 2,000. we had 12.5 million people under arms, we've got 1.5 million. we've good an admiral for almost every ship in the navy right now. we've had this crete in terms of rank. there's all sorts of money to be saved in the pentagon that will have no effect whatsoever on our defensive posture or our capability. >> but steve, i'm curious, though. what is the difference, in your opinion, between raising the top marginal rate and closing some loopholes? if you get $1.2 trillion in revenue, why does it matter so much more to the president that you do it by raising the top rate when the super wealthy, as we've described on the show, aren't going to be paying higher taxes? >> the issue is, joe, it's a question of whether it's going to be $800 billion or $1.2 trillion or somewhere in between. if the number ends up being $1.2 trillion, and we'll see where it
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comes out, it's hard to do it just with deductions. you end up limiting deductions so much that you cut into charities. you cut into state and local governments. you cut into a whole bunch of home mortgage. >> what about the buffett proposal? >> the buffett proposal is a great idea. the buffett proposal is a kind of no-brainer. >> how much does it raise? >> $160 billion over ten years. it's a piece of the puzzle. i don't think they believe honestly that the math works to get to $1.2 trillion. >> let's also talk about the reality of leadership, where it's working and where it's not. the president did campaign on raising rates, he won the election. he can say i ran on this. he's still running on that, effectively. what he's not -- if he spent as much time on saying we have a spending problem and here's how we'll attack it, explaining the spending caps passed last year, nobody knows what's in that, as he does about #my2k on twitter.
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i don't think we're seeing that right now. >> to your point, the president was criticized for passing on taxes in the rich in the past. i think it's a fair line in the sand to draw. but having said that, when you have geithner going on "meet the press" and saying the republicans are going to cave, ha, ha, ha, and the republicans releasing their plan to the press before they even go to the white house with it, it is totally an outside game. and this isn't possible to get done as it is, is it not? tom coburn, is it not impossible to sit down and actually do something responsible between now and the deadline? let alone fight it in the press. >> depends on what your goals are. if your goals are to plioliticay dominate somebody -- >> it sounds like both sides. >> a lot of people have demonstrated that they're willing -- the only reason i'm still in washington and the only reason i came back was to fix this problem. i ran on pete peterson's book, "running on empty." that's what i ran my whole campaign on in 2004.
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i prof siphecyized where we'd b. and it's going to be worse than we think if we don't stop thinking about the politics and work out the best solution we can for the future of our country. you know, the president -- what the president's offering now is essentially his budget, got zero democrat votes in the house and the senate, got zero republican votes. there are not a significant number of democrat senators that will embrace $1.6 trillion worth of tax increases. i can just tell you that. of where it's going to come from. so when their bargaining position is their last budget -- >> which, again, got zero votes. >> got no votes from one democrat in either the house or the senate. there's a problem there. so what we're seeing is posturing. i think david's right. the dangerous thing that we're doing now is we're playing an outside game. i really felt comfortable when we weren't hearing anything about what was going on. >> yeah. >> which means something's happening and nobody's trying to manipulate the press. >> so is nothing happening? >> nothing's happening right
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now. >> by the way, i don't want to denigrate negotiating in the press. >> all for it. >> i think we do have to go through this process of one public, one public. >> it's more the tone. >> we actually encourage negotiations in the press, mika. it's really where negotiations should take place. i'm curious, tom, what you think of our good friend, jim demint, who we've known and served with for a long time. he said that the republican plan put forth by john boehner would, quote, destroy american jobs. speaker boehner's $800 billion tax hike will destroy american jobs and allow politicians in washington to spend any more while not reducing our $16 trillion debt by a single penny. do you agree with that? >> well, i think it's important to have the fiscal conservatives' viewpoint on this. >> you're a fiscal conservative. >> i know, but what i do is i look at the process and say, where are we today? what's possible? >> but isn't it a lot easier to
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do what jim demint did? and that's what i did when i was in congress. >> i think that actually helps boehner. >> why does it help painer? >> because he's drawn a line in the sand for the fiscal conservatives. and it communicates to both the white house and boehner, here's how far you can go. the other side of that is is the proposal that was offered to the president had all these signatures of all the leadership plus paul ryan coming back. so what boehner's done is said here's, we're as a team including paul ryan, suggesting this. what you have is some firming up on the conservative side, which i think says boehner, this is probably about as far as you can go. >> right. exactly. and so since joe said, so what is the outcome? what is your -- a compromise, you want to get a deal done, what do you think is possible here as a final tactic? >> i think you could create a -- what i would recommend doing is create a small package that shows the debt markets, not the
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american people, the debt markets that we're serious about what we're going to do, that you put a drop-dead date on the tax code like july 31st of next year. you have to reform the code. got this money and done it by then. otherwise there's no code. which means -- which is actually better in terms of really creating a more progressive tax code which most of my friends on the left would like to see, and sitting down and talking about here's what has to happen in terms of medicare, medicaid and social security. most people don't realize, part "d" -- i mean social security disability will be out of money in less than two years. will be out of money in less than two years. >> i'm sorry, social security? >> disability. >> disability, okay. >> mike barnicle in new york has a question for you, senator. mike, go ahead. >> senator, i'm sitting here trying not to drown in pessimism over the prospects for our country. and i'm listening to you, and i heard you say just a few minutes ago that personally, i'd rather
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see rates go up, which is unusual to hear from someone, you know, in washington. it seems to be, you know, i'll meet you halfway. that sort of talk. so my question to you is, are we now at a point in the united states senate or the house, the congress, in general, where ideology is so rigid on both sides, but specifically on the republican side, where ideology is now so rigid that the larger concept of the country of doing something for the country now finishes in second place? >> no, i don't think so at all, mike. i think that's the wrong assessment. do we have a revenue problem? yeah, we do, historically. but it pales in comparison to the entitlement program we have. so i would put that on the other side. when we're saying we're not going to do anything about medicare and we're going to have 3.5 million people including me jump into medicare this year and
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we're saying no, we don't need to do that, and if you look at our unfunded liabilities, we've frozen discretionary spending. everybody agrees that military spending's going to be declining. so if we do not address, in a firm, cogent way -- and we can still guarantee what we have promised but maybe with some pain for everybody across the board, the very wealthy and also the not very wealthy in terms of here's what has to happen, you know, we're losing perspective. it's neither taxes or entitlements, it's both. but the ratio has to be significant in terms of entitlements because the numbers don't work. i don't care what the politics are. ultimately, the decision that will be made for our country is what the purchasers of our bonds decide what we need to do. >> so what i don't understand, david gregory or anybody, chime in, is that what the president is being firm on is tax rates on the very wealthy.
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which people like steve rattner and other ceos have come forward and said, you know what? we can handle this. we just want certainty. we want to know exactly what it's going to look like. and it's not going to change our behavior. we're okay with that. that's not pain. so why can't, on the other side, the president and republicans get together and figure out the painful part of this together? i don't understand. >> well, they can if they're willing to and if they can survive the politics of it. i mean, the advantage that the president has now is not only has he campaigned on this question, but the truth is that the business community, which has not been with him, is essentially saying, look, we'll pay higher taxes. >> we'll take it. >> that's fine. but you've got to be committed to some kind of real deficit reduction. and that's where, beyond the spending, being serious about entitlements, there's got to at least be some framework that says, look, we are going to reduce the size and the scope of government. and that's -- finding that pain point on both sides so it's not a lopsided deal will at least give republicans the room to
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argue, look, we can take this pain. we've won some concessions back, but we have to do this. >> that should be done in private and together. >> and again, though, the ratio between tax increases to spending cuts is a wide, wide gap. medicare and medicaid and social security together, taken with interest and the debt, that's consuming every dime that's coming into washington, d.c., right now. people talk about -- democrats have talked about for a decade, the bush tax cuts. they've driven up the national debt. fine. if that's the case, why is it that the president, as you've said earlier, is embracing 98% of the bush tax cuts? >> except that isn't true. >> of course it's not true. >> it's the size of the government, in terms of clinton's last budget, is more than twice of what it was in 2001. >> yes, but look, the fact is the bush tax cuts are $4 trillion over ten years. if we didn't have those, we'd have $4 trillion less in deficit
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over the next two years. >> everybody was against those because they only want the bush tax cuts to be taken away from the job creators in this country. that's the problem. >> a lot of nothing happening. senator tom coburn, thank you so much. always good to have you on the show. >> thank you. david gregory, can you stay? >> sure. when we come back, republican congressman tom cole of oklahoma and democratic congressman chris van hollen of maryland. oh, look, they're talking and laughing. that's good. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by -- oh and there's t.j. -- starbucks. is what drives us to broadcast the world's biggest events in 3d, or live to your seat high above the atlantic ocean.
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i don't think that the issue right now has to do with sitting in a room. the issue right now that's
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relevant is the acknowledgment that if we're going to raise revenues that are sufficient to balance with the very tough cuts that we've already made and the further reforms and entitlements that i'm prepared to make, that we're going to have to see the rates on the top 2% go up, and we're not going to be able to get a deal without it. >> okay. he's prepared to make cuts. did you hear that? did you hear that? welcome back to "morning joe." >> which ones? >> yeah. exactly. that's what they need to figure out. here with us now, democratic representative from maryland and ranking member of the house budget committee, congressman chris val hollan and republican representative from oklahoma, congressman tom cole. >> great to see you guys. we actually saw you talking outside and take that as a good sign. >> did you go to the congressional ball? >> another thing my leader said was this. >> hopefully you didn't catch all that on tape. >> it was fantastic.
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>> so chris, let's start with you. let's just assume, because all we're talking about is taxes, raising taxes on the rich. let's assume that happens. let's just assume that happens. because the question always is can boehner get republicans to raise taxes. okay, so let's say that gets -- that gets done. can nancy pelosi, can chris van hollen get democrats to make the significant cuts in medicare, medicaid, parts of social security to keep those programs solvent for the next 30 years? >> a couple things, joe. first of all, the revenue -- how you get the revenue but also the overall amount of revenue is very important. >> right. let's assume you get it the way you want. >> we want to build on the over $1 trillion in cuts we already agreed to as part of the budget control act. that was 100% cuts. we did that. the president's budget and his proposal calls for an additional $600 billion in cuts. he's actually specified what cuts those are.
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let me give you a fact i don't think many people know. if you look at the ten-year window on medicare savings, the president's budget has more savings in that ten-year window than the republican ryan budget did in that ten-year window. how does he do it? >> is that correct? >> not really. >> no, no. >> come on. >> in the ten-year window. >> my friend is trying to use cuts we already have again. i mean, how many times do you get to negotiate with a trillion dollars -- which i was proud to vote for. but look, senator coburn had it right. look at the dimensions of the problem. and we're not spending less money this year than we did last year. we're spending more money than we did last year. so look, we added a short-term immediate problem which is this cliff problem. i don't believe we ought to go over it. i think we ought to get to a deal. i've been pretty adamant about that. but we've got this longer-term problem which is the real problem, and it's going to take really big reforms and entitlements. we haven't seen those discussed or presented by the president. >> chris, that makes sense. we do, right?
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it's simple math. we agree on the same math, do we not? >> we do -- well, yes and no. but with respect to -- >> why? >> with respect to medicare, there's no doubt that you have a long-term problem with medicare costs. that is why we passed the affordable care act. that was a $716 billion in savings. as david pointed out on "meet the press," the irony -- >> you guys folded right into another entitlement program. >> wait a second. what they proposed not four weeks ago was adding $716 billion back into the costs of medicare. now, the difference is that the president has proposed that we deal with medicare by changing the incentives, modernizing the program, focusing on the value of care, not the volume of care, and bringing down overall health care costs in the medicare part of the system as well as the other health care part of the system. very different approach than transferring those costs onto the backs of seniors on medicare. >> congressman, there's got to be a certain amount of weight
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that the election and that the public sentiment over taxes has on all republicans, and it starts with the speaker, that says there's a point at which we can vote for tax increases on the wealthiest americans if we can extract enough out of the white house. what is that -- what is that pain point? i know straight up it's difficult. >> first, let's not overread the president's mandate. the president got re-elected with a lower percentage and fewer votes than he won with. and in a weaker political position. in 2009, my friends here in total control of the house, super majority in the senate. we've got the house. the senate's divided, and the president is not stronger than he was. he's actually weaker. he's got a momentary thrush of strength, but we're not likely to lose the majority in the midterm and second-term election. this is about a four-year window. i think we're in a politically strong position. having said that, we don't have to vote for taxes to go up.
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i don't like this, but the bush tax cuts are temporary. they end on their own. that's what i've been trying to tell my caucus, in my view. let's actually get them out. this is a point where chris and i agree, actually. i don't see why any american that's in that 98% needs to worry about their taxes because both sides agree. i actually think the quicker we take care of that, we can still maintain our position that we don't want to raise rates. revenue's on the table. the speaker put it there. he showed us the format. but i want to move the discussion to spending cuts and entitlement reform. right now the tax issue to me for 98% gets in the way of that. >> you would allow the top 2% to dangle politically, you think you're going to come back next year and resurrect the tax code for the wealthiest americans? >> the 98%, and i'm going to be brazenly political, i disagree with my friends that somehow think that's our leverage. number one, that's wrong leverage. you don't use the american people for leverage.
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but number two, it's actually, if it is leverage, it's my buddy chris's leverage here. not ours. >> and by the way, tom, as long as -- is it not the case -- as long as this issue stays out there, that allows democrats, that allows the president, that allows nancy pelosi to not talk about the real problem. which is an entitlement system that's bankrupting us, runaway discretionary spending, a defense department that's bloated, a tax code that needs to be reformed. we need to get past this. >> i couldn't agree more. >> don't you agree? >> well, i agree that we should get past it. i agree totally with what tom said. >> but he doesn't want to get past it. >> here's where i disagree. i think these are all parts of it. the revenue is a big piece of this. if you look at the bipartisan simpson-bowles plan, it calls for more total revenue than the president has called for at $1.6 trillion. they've got more revenue embedded in simpson-bowles. it also cuts defense spending a lot more than has been put on
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the table. when it comes to health care savings, the president's plan, if you look at what happens even beyond the ten-year window, we project it will save more on health care than simpson-bowles because of the way the president makes certain changes in the program. >> mike barnicle. >> you know, i'm sitting here, i guess i'm kind of cranky this morning, but i'm looking at both congressmen talking about the american people this, the american people that, the american people this. you know, both of you guys, do you realize the american people just want you guys, people like you in the house, just do your job. just do your job. something that seems you're incapable of doing. you go back and forth, back and forth, tax rates, we're not going to touch the rates. we want revenue, we don't want revenue. do your job! get something done! >> mike, if i can just say, tom is actually put out on the table a way we can get beyond this. we could agree on that
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particular point and move on. >> in defense of the institution that nobody ever does their job, remember, the bush tax cuts were extended with the president's support in 2010. that was our job. we had a budget deal in april of 2000, that was -- 2011, that was our job. the debt ceiling deal got done. >> with a lot of pain. that was not doing the job well to get to that point. >> i'm not saying this will be painless. that's the nature of the problem. >> breaking news from "politico." former representative jack brooks, a giant in politics, texas democrat who served 42 years in the house and was considered giants of the house during his time died tuesday. he was 89 and, of course, brooks was in the motorcade with jfk in 19 1963. he lost his seat in 1994. jack brooks, a real giant of an institution that you guys served in. let's talk about, though, how that institution's changed, even since i got there in '89 and jack brooks left. bob dole went on the house floor
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yesterday, congressmen -- >> senate floor. >> the senate floor yesterday. and he was trying to support a bill that a lot of vets supported. a treaty that actually george w. bush put together and pushed, along with president obama. and it got voted down because people were concerned it would be sacrificing national sovereignty. by applying american standards across the world. was that a mistake? >> you know, again, i don't know enough about the bill to tell you. it hasn't been dealt with on our side. we don't do a lot of treaty work. you know, as described, it doesn't sound like a vote that i would have been comfortable casting against something like that. but again, to be fair, i haven't read the legislation. i don't know. i don't have a quick opinion. >> you have no opinion on whether the black helicopters would swoop over -- >> i have really strong opinions about black helicopters, but i'm careful about talking about legislation i haven't read. >> that was a sad day for the senate. i used to work for matt
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matthias, a liberal republican senator. i don't think you would have seen that kind of thing happen in the senate 20 years ago with the black helicopter vote against the bill. >> i agree with you, joe, you said it earlier, this damages the republican brand. the substance does not overwhelm the failure to seize a moment like that, bob dole on the floor. look, i think a lot of this -- it's okay that there's a lot of anger at these institutions for failing to reach accords, but, you know, there is a pretty big ideological divide about what government ought to be doing. and i do think that republicans who don't want to see taxes go up, do not have much faith in the government to do its job right, to administer big programs, or to really be serious about reducing debt, that's a fact. we also know that democrats believe the government has essential job to play and believe in fairness and don't think there should have been the bush tax cuts and then we went to war without having a tremendous amount of sacrifice. i just think it's about finding the sweet spot of where these
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pain points are. and both sides finding a way to give each other enough room. i would actually argue that for all of this business of nobody's talking, that the president is actually trying to give boehner some room with this initial deal. >> i see that. >> when he wins some concessions back, he's in a better position to go to his caucus and say guys, look, i know you don't like this, but it could have been a lot worse. >> let's not say that the bush tax cuts have been rejected because the president is defending 80% of them for 98% of the people. it's a win for our side. well, we should take a little credit here. >> one of the things we were talking about out there is whether this passes with a majority of republicans in the house. because if the speaker's willing to bring to the floor a bill they can pass with less than the majority of republicans, but a lot of democrats, we can get it done. >> that came up last time. >> the majority, with all due respect, the minority of the minority. that's how it worked in the clinton years. that's how every deal we've
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gotten with the president has worked. that's how this deal will work. >> you're not going to get a majority of the majority unless there's significant cuts. the president needs to understand john boehner is the best -- the best negotiating partner he's going to ever have. and he's got to also understand conservatives, you know, i've been talking about republicans improving their brand, being more cooperative. i wouldn't vote for a deal to raise taxes in a million years. unless there were significant real substantial spending cuts on the other side. so -- >> don't cave. compromise. as you said. >> don't cave, compromise. >> congressmen kris van hollen and tom cole. >> we appreciate it. >> good luck. i hope you get it done. you're going to get it done. david gregory, thank you as well. >> thank you, david. >> you bet. coming up, senator claire mccaskill will be here, my favorite senator. >> the luckiest senator, in fact, this past year. >> oh, cokie roberts will be joining us as well. more "morning joe" when we come back. what's next?
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okay. up next, former national
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security adviser dr. zbigniew brzezinski is here. he's already barking orders. keep it right here on "morning joe." americans are always ready to work hard for a better future.
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have republicans' attacks against u.n. ambassador susan rice sort of boxed you into a corner? would it look like a sign of weakness if you did not appoint her to secretary of state? >> i don't really spend a lot of time on, you know, what folks say on cable news programs attacking highly qualified personnel like susan rice. susan rice has done a great job as u.n. ambassador, but i've
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made a decision about secretary of state. >> joining us now here in washington, former national security adviser for president carter, dr. zbigniew brzezinski, author of "strategic vision." great to have you back on, dad. sam stein and steve rattner also with us. is barnicle still in new york? yeah. okay. >> wake up, mike. >> he's asleep. >> wake up. >> what does "there" exactly mean. >> define that. we've been talking, dr. brzezinski, about the fiscal cliff. i'd love your take on it, what signal it sends to the rest of the world that we don't seem to be able to put our economic house in order. >> well, the way you put it, you give the answer. your answer is right. we look a little bit disorderly. indecisive, leaderless. that's a real problem. and that's a problem that concerns me particularly on foreign affairs. the presidency, not just
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president obama, but the presidency in recent years has lost some of the terrain that they used to dominate in the making of foreign policy. i think president obama has to make a serious effort to regain it because he lost some of it himself. >> lost terrain to congress or to whom? >> to congress and to the world. that is to say his capacity to take decisive actions has been limited by congressional intervention, by the influence of lobbies, by the sense that he gives good speeches, very good speeches, and he really understands the world, but the follow-through in terms of policy is somewhat not there. so i think he has to do a lot of things. i think he has to cultivate very deliberately the leadership of the congress, particularly the senate foreign relations committee, engage them personally. he has to be willing to crack the whip in some cases so that defying him is a risky proposition.
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and i think last but not least, he ought to consider seriously appointing someone with real influence up on the hill. he, of course, might prefer a democrat, and there are some democrats who fit that, but he might even still better consider appointing a republican. >> maybe possibly somebody like chuck hagel. >> chuck hagel or former senator lugar. >> senator lugar. >> or bob zellik, his appointee to the world bank. >> why wouldn't john kerry solve all these issues you described? >> he might. but having a republican would be an asset. it would be somebody that would send a message if the republican, of course, was prepared to accept leadership and if they were philosophically comparable. every one of those names mentioned i think would be helpful to him because he needs help. >> so what does this individual, you named a few names, but what does this person need to be able to do that we haven't seen in
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the foreign policy leadership across the board in this administration? >> without saying it publicly, none of them should say what i'm saying, but they have to make an effort, first, to neutralize the excessive intervention into policy-making of some congressional committees, particularly if they are chaired by the opposition, and secondly, the lobbies. because the fact of the matter is, that our foreign policy has become very fragmented on some very important issues whether it's with the chinese or the russians or whether it's on syria or whether it's on the israeli/palestinian peace process. presidential freedom of action has narrowed to a degree that it is very difficult for america to assert itself. i think it's really a scandalous example of this growing kind of -- well, not growing -- but of this on the horizon with the u.n. vote. the united states' founding member, the key player in
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founding the u.n., we were heavily engaged, right or wrong, in trying to prevent the vote on the palestinian quasi-membership in the u.n. we opposed it. we and the israelis. 188 countries voted. how many voted with us? >> nine? >> eight. that tells you something. that's a perfect you've writte foreign policy, an article on foreign policy, talking about how the president seizes the initiative back. how does he do it in this case where obviously he believes, susan rice said she believed, that this was actually a step back for peace having this vote for the palestinians? >> well, first of all, that's a question of judgment whether they really believed it or not, but they went along with the lying. and that lying was probably domestically more popular.
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i don't think it makes that much difference. i think it would have been much smarter as someone did propose, i think, i forget who said that but someone very prominent said he wished both israel and the y united states had voted for it. it would have been far more 0 effective. wouldn't have altered the outcome but it would have given a totally different spin. adopting certain steps on the settlements and then the european allies reacting strongly. i think israel is more isolated today than ever before. not to mention the vote which was, you know, 188 and only eight against it. >> tony blair, we asked tony blair yesterday, obviously he spent some time in the middle east, whether he agreed with you. that the only way you bring peace to the middle east is by imposing your will. if you're the american president getting in there on both sides. he said definitely he agreed 100%. how does the president do it
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now? >> well, he doesn't do it now because he doesn't have the power, but he does it if he recovers some of that territory. and that involves a lot of steps including, i think, a wider outreach but, also, some demonstrative assertion of his authority on some issue, which drives home the lesson. these are intangible things. you can't put them down in numbers or even in letters, but there have been presidents in recent history who are assertive. in a curious way, george bush ii managed to bamboozle the country, including democrats, one of whom became obama's secretary of state, to vote for a war on utterly fictitious, in fact, false, evidence. >> okay. so let's just focus on the -- >> bamboozle which is a term of art in the foreign policy -- >> it worked out perfectly for george bush. >> it didn't work out end. >> what he's talking about -- >> more importantly for the country. >> you're talking about the
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power of the president to shape foreign policy. >> yes. >> i want to push back because you see he has been impeded by lobbies and members of congress, i can go through these three things off the top of my head where he's exerted immense power in the executive that people have problems with, the intervention of libya which many members may have thought breached constitutionality. drug policy regardless of its effectiveness, we don't know about its legality and detention policies so how is he not a pow powerful exec it tiff when it comes to foreign policy? >> he was stymied on the guantanamo issue so it's a trade quof. on the drones, i don't think many people are against it as long as they kill al qaeda people. i don't think that's an issue. on libya, you're right, he prevailed. this was an issue he prevailed by pushing from behind. he didn't lead. he didn't engage america which was the initial issue and i think it's worked out okay. i think he played well. i'm not saying he's been across
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the board. >> he bamboozled from behind. >> oh, come on. you understood his point and there was a veiled -- >> i think you could use another example, what he did during the surge. 80% of americans against the surge in iraq but he was able to exert his will not only on congress but the american people and that worked out a little bit better, at least in the short term. but that's the point, you're right. george w. bush knew how to use power. >> george bush gone foreign policy. reagan did. carter did on some issues. lyndon johnson did very much. and nixon in a kind of, you know, manipulative fashion, i think all of them in a sense although it's not really subject to measurement were able to shape foreign policy more decisively than the president in recent times. >> you should hear the words he uses to describe different people like -- yeah.
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>> what? >> dr. brzezinski, thank you so much. now tomorrow's show we'll give you a sneak preview of "forbes" list of the most powerful in the world. >> thanks, dad. >> claire mccaskill on the other side. ♪
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welcome back to "morning joe." we have decided since sam stein spent so much time reading his notes, that we need even more time with dr. brzezinski. we're going to be covering much more and also bring on claire mccaskill when we return. i love the holidays. and with my bankamericard cash rewards credit card, i love 'em even more. i earn 1% cash back everywhere, every time. 2% on groceries. 3% on gas. automatically. no hoops to jump through. that's 1% back on... [ toy robot sounds ] 2% on pumpkin pie. and apple. 3% back on 4 trips to the airport. it's as easy as... -[ man ] 1... -[ woman ] 2... [ woman ] 3. [ male announcer ] the bankamericard cash rewards card. apply online or at a bank of america near you.
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welcome back to "morning joe." still with us here on set, doctors zbigniew brzezinski and -- >> you say his first name very well. >> i should. things were going so well but we decided to try for more here. we begin, though, with some news, the latest on the rapidly approaching fiscal cliff deadline and what appears to be a stalemate in the negotiationses. in his first interview since the election president obama reiterated his demand that any deal must raise taxes on the highest earners. but yesterday the president also appeared to showroom for flexibility on lowering those tax rates in the future. >> i don't think that the issue right now has to do with sitting in a room. the issue right now that's relevant is the acknowledgement that if we're going to raise revenues that are sufficient to
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balance with the very tough cuts that we've already made and further reforms entitlements i'm prepared to make that we're going to have to see the rates on the top 2% go up, and we're not going to be able to get a deal without it. what i suggest is let's essentially put a down payment on taxes. let's let tax rates on the upper income folks go up. and then let's set up a process with a time certain end of 2013 or the fall of 2013 where we work on tax reform. we look at what loopholes and deductions both democrats and republicans are willing to close and it's possible that we may be able to lower rates by broadening the base at that point. >> i think that sounds hopeful. house speaker john boehner is facing growing backlash from the conservative wing of his party over the counterproposal he just offered. at issue is the $800 billion in new tax revenue he proposed
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which the white house quickly rejected because it does not raise taxes on the wealthy. senator jim demint, a lead mer congress, denounced boehner's plan as a tax hike that will, quote, destroy american jobs and allow politicians in washington to spend even more. >> so right now everybody is just talking at each other. >> yeah. >> what do you do if you want to fix the problem? you actually do sit -- the president says we're not going to get the solution by sitting in a room. that's really is the only way to get a solution, by sitting down across the table, whether you are talking budget negotiations,s talking about trying to forge a peace treaty in the middle east, that's how you do it. you don't do it by giving speeches. you don't do it by campaign-style events in pennsylvania. you do it by sitting down in good faith with the other side and hammering through proposals. we're at a unique position right now, steve rattner, where
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republicans are starting to move away from john boehner. john boehner has an opportunity to sit down with the president of the united states and say, listen, let's talk about what i can deliver. i can evenly do what i can do. and you can give as many speeches as you want and campaign rallies as you want, but if i can't bring the majority of the majority along, we don't have a deal. so let's figure out how you get what you need and how i get what i need. >> right. but the problem is if you take the banner letter that was issued yesterday to be what he can give, it isn't enough for the president. >> it's a starting point. >> well, we hope. like the president's first move was a budget that he put on the senate floor that got zero votes. >> the president's first move -- yeah, when you go to sell your house, you don't put it on the market at the price you're willing to sell it at. >> and that applies to john boehner's letter as well. >> john boehner's letter said i will not agragree to raise tax .
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getting them in a room is the only way to get a deal done. >> they signed on to his first deal about but they are -- there is going to have to be, mika, some compromise. and on the republican side as well. maybe you do compromise on the rates instead of 39.6%, maybe you go to 37%. if there are spending cuts. >> we're going to get to your charts on the competing plans in just a second. really quickly, dad, we've been in washington a long time, and there have been people on both sides of the aisle who disagree on major issues but sit down and hash it out and get it done. what's different today from your point of view? what's going on here from your perspective? >> i think it's the polarization. it's the conviction by one side that the other side is fundamentally wrong, implicitly,
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though it's not said implicitly, perhaps even evil. dangerous to america. i think that has to be ended. a group of americans just issued a statement yesterday, organized by pete peterson in new york and admiral mcmullen and the documents signed by others jim baker which addresses the issue and urges compromise on the fiscal cliff but also on national security. but i think there are people on both sides, yes -- >> you can hold that up. fantastic. >> i think it is perhaps doable from the outside. people like that, perhaps even former president bush, the first, in the background on others and begin to weigh in more because this is really embarrassing to the country. >> mika always brings up the fact when we're out and about and people are asking, what do we do? how do we move this country forward? she always brings up you as the
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example of somebody that would bring people over to the house that you may have disagreed with. and sit down with them and have dinner with them, have dinner with their families. how the people who work for you -- >> dad, this is the dinner table. look at this. >> hold on one second, northeasterly. that's my point. >> no, read the names. >> the people who work for you. you had a future republican director of the cia and the pentagon working for you, a future republican secretary of state working for you. >> steve hadley. >> and a future republican national security adviser as well as madeleine albright, another democrat, but you had as many powerful republican leaders, future leaders, are as powerful democratic leaders. >> the president should be doing every week, almost every day, you have to be meeting with some of them, having dinner with them, talking to them, chatting. >> yes. >> and also threatening occasionally. >> by the way, mika has circled
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all the dinner guests that you've had over the years. >> some of them worked for my dad. >> it's the same principle that works in journalism, everyone knows if you're going to garn aeroreport, it's far better to get a source face-to-face. it's far bettory get a source of the fund than a person via e-mail. >> and best of all to have a relati relationship with them. >> it's just intimacy that happens between a source and a reporter. >> this president does not like that. he's not comfortable in this person, lbj, jfk. >> i think part of it has to do with the fact he is still relatively new to politics. this is someone who was an obscure state senator back in 2004, and he rose meteorcally through the ranks. he spent little time in the senate, maybe two years, before he started. >> my first three years in
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congress, i was angry. i was an angry young man -- >> no. >> it was my way or the highway. >> i can't imagine. >> no. and you get here long enough and you start to realize, i'm not going to do anything by myself. and my ideas -- i may think i'm right be 100% of the time, but if there are a lot of other people here who think i'm wrong 100%, and we're going to have to meet somewhere in the middle. i don't know that the president gets that yet. >> this is why i think the appointment of the secretary of state is quite important. he ought to have someone who can help him along those lines. not just someone who is very good on foreign affairs. of course the person appointed should be good on foreign affairs, but should be someone who relates to our domestic politics in an influential fashion and can talk to people and can help the president. and then he has to have someone who helps him be tough. someone who can convey to someone, say, up on the hill. look, we've had reports about
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your tax statements. people are looking at them. we don't really want to pursue this. >> but -- >> but. >> oh, my gosh, you two are speaking the same language. >> so in terms of this issue about obama, how do you compare him to president carter in that regard in terms of his willingness to engage personally with people? >> carter was less aloof. president obama is extremely smart. very rational. but there is a quality of -- and i don't mean this in any negative way. i admire him in that respect. a kind of aloofness. carter was much more of the people in that sense. although wasn't as effective. >> can i just make the point, though, because it is a two-way street at the same time. the republican party has really been, you know, sort of -- it's rejected obama from the get-go. i think it was yesterday, 49% of republicans thought acorn stole
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the 2012 election. a.c.o.r.n. doesn't exist. they think they stole the 2012 election. >> joe? >> let's look at the front page of the "washington post." it talks about how turkey is going to get nato missiles. i remember when your book came out last year and we did some events with you, you kept talking about the key position, it turkey would play in the world. we're seeing it now especially in syria. but now becoming more powerful force than nato. this is happening. you foresaw it. why is it happening? >> it's happening because the situation is such that we realize we need turkey and it is the point of departure for any effective, constructive or destructive solution. it's as basic as that. but we have to be aware of the fact we can't let turkey out on a limb by itself. extremely successful but vulnerable from the inside.
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and i can see enemies of turkey ganging up on turkey, stimulating the kurd ishii you, for example, which could be explosive and damaging to turkey's long-range future. >> and you also have a much more complicated relationship between turkey and israel now. >> yes. >> which i would assume would hold us back a little bit from being completely -- >> they can't because it turkey is too important. it involves several turks. we will not apologize. that's kind of unfortunate. that could have been fussed over, i think. it's too bad. before we go to break, i do want to get to the charts we talked about at the top of the block here. steve rattner, you are looking at the competing debt plans that washington right now is still in a heated battle over. >> so there's a lot of numbers flying around. just to pro-vlade a baseline for everybody to understand the plans, i think the first issue we've talked about earlier on the show is what are we trying to accomplish. i think the most we're trying to accomplish at the moment is to stabilize the debt. and so you can see our debt to
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gdp ratio has gone up to 2% over just five years it doubled and that's, of course, a function of the recession, stimulus spending and so forth. the goal, i think, that a loft us would have would be to hold it at 68%. all the fun and games began. the red line is where it will go if we do nothing. and the green line, the 68% is where we're trying to get it if we do $4 trillion of deficit reduction. >> if we get to $4 trillion. >> so let's look quickly it at the two plans and see how they stack up. you'll see that obama is at $3.4 trillion. when you score this honestly boehner at $3.6 billion and
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simpson-bowles. >> explain the difference between what you saw in the initial news reports on the boehner plan. keep this chart up, control room. i read $2.2 trillion plan by boehner. you say $3.6 trillion. >> do you want to spend the next -- >> no, i really don't. >> why not? >> so to make it simple, it has to do what you count. the biggest difference is the budget control act. the $900 billion cuts, we budget guys count as part of the package. >> sequestration? >> no, telephones the first deal they did. we count then and then there are interest savings. i think this is the way i like to think about it. apples to apples. >> the third chart. >> the last chart shows you how it breaks down. the obama plan has half from tax
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increases versus about 20% in the boehner plan. these are philosophical differences. boehner would cut much more. obama's view is we've cut so much from that already we have to be careful how much more we cut. >> when you talk about discretionary spending cuts, a big difference between defense cuts and domestic cuts. does it go after defense spending the way he has? >> he hasn't spelled it out yet. we don't know. r&d, a lot of investment
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programs we think we need to keep this economy growing. >> can i ask a question? what makes up the difference between the bowles-simpson proposals and the other ones? why is that so much higher? what are they leaving out? >> there were more tax increases. it was light on entitlements. >> okay. >> where did bowles-simpson get the revenue. >> they eliminated a whole slaw and lowering rates and also a tax on gasoline. >> they let the bush tax cuts expire, right? >> initially they did and then were going to do tax reform. >> would they increase the taxes on the rich? >> yeah. >> they would? >> yes. >> to the same extent? >> i would have to do the math. >> don't you do any homework?
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>> numbers cruncher. dad, thank you so much. i wasn't chained in any way. >> no, he didn't call you co comical. >> you were not chained. >> old time memories. >> okay. >> senator claire mccaskill coming up next, joins us in washington. also cokie roberts. first to bill karins in new york. he has a check on the forecast. bill? good morning to you, joe. we can say good-bye to those late summer/early fall like temperatures. the cold front is heading through neng neck and soon areas of the mid-atlantic. temperatures have fallen a little bit. watching chicago, much colder right now this hour than yesterday at this time at 27. so the midwest has returned to normal. the east coast, blustery weather will arrive during the aft afternoon. on that cold front we've had a little bit of light rain that continues just south of d.c.
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heading for richmond and also as we go north of charlotte, north carolina. other areas of wet weather this morning, if you're joining us this morning in san francisco, some moderate rain heading in now. and if you're driving interstate 80 from sacramento to tahoe to reno all the way back through nevada, that's a rainy drive. probably one of the rainiest highways in the country. and our friends in hawaii, even they're dealing with some rain and thunderstorms from maui all the way through. so today's forecast for your wednesday, it's still mild for this time of the year especially the southern half of the country. but we've returned to normal in the northern plains. still no snowstorms on the way across the country over the next three to four days. average temperatures to slightly above. if you're dreaming of a white christmas this may be a difficult year to get it on the ground. you're watching "morning joe." [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year.
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of the congressional committee chairs selected thus far for the next congress they are all white males. >> oh, i guess they all look alike to you, williams. >> there is a great deal of diversity and variety. for instance these three gentlemen alone look like the kind of guys who would sell you three very different types of insurance. >> look at this guy, paul ryan. he hases a widow as peak. that's weird, that's different. that guy looks like your average
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local news anchor. the bland white guy with glasses, is nearsighted but the other guy can glasses has astigmatism. what's that? really? nearsighted as well. [ bleep ] all right. >> that's pretty funny. >> joining us now, claire mccaskill and commentator for abc news, cokie roberts. great to have you back on the show. steve rattner is still with us. >> thank god. you should win the republican nomination. jesus is calling you home. >> remember we need to stay on offense in the republican party and my race is a post er child f
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that effort and -- >> do whatever you can to make sure the most extreme element. >> i agree. >> you know it's bad. >> why do the republicans keep doing this? why do they keep putting up candidates? >> millions of dollars into the primary. >> but now one of 20 women in the senate. this is, you know, for all of my life there were never more than two. >> our bathroom is not big enough. we ask for more bathroom states. >> it needs to be redone. >> that's just two stalls. that's not enough. >> radically different from the washington which you grew up in. but there's another part, andrea mitchell was telling me that you had a congressional ball and president obama. didn't say a word to each other?
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when newt gingrich was impeaching bill clinton they talked on the phone every day. >> well, not to mention tip o'neill and ronald reagan. the spaeker wou espeaker would the white house and they would have a wonderful time together. they would have a press conference and the president would have a nap. it was a very different time. >> there's no question that the president is not somebody who has prioritized evenings with his family, instead of having a bourbon on the rocks. i think some of this is overblown. they stay in the photo room the entire night.
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>> powerful democratic senators who say this president does not pick up the phone and talk. >> he's not a schmoozer. >> let me. senator mccaskill, seriously, though, at least in the press appear to be being played by both sides, wouldn't you expect the president to walk over to him? the president didn't talk to anybody who didn't have their picture taken. he's in one place. i'm sure speaker boehner went through the photo line. that's not a good example. i'm not arguing the president shouldn't do more face-to-face. i agree. >> put the schmoozing thing aside how do we get from here to there? >> whenever you're in a negotiation the thought process is this.
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what is the alternative? is it worse? if they do not make this deal on tax rates for the top 2%, then they're going to go away and then we're going to come back and we're going to pass tax cuts for everybody under $250,000. so it's going to happen. >> i hope you and harry reid enjoy that vote because you're not going to get it in the house. >> you keep talking about -- >> wait, wait, wait. >> what vote are we not going to get in the house? >> you keep talking about the majority of the majority, which -- but that's not necessarily what has to happen this time around. it can be a minority plus the democrats. >> do you think that john boehner is going to go out and cobble together a minority of the republicans and the democrats? >> he thinks it's in his self-interest he will.
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>> but, cokie, if he does a dael with a smaller part of his group, he's not speaker anymore. >> speakers have done that for generatio generations. it was abhorrent. that was the oddity and to put together different coalitions on different issues is normal. >> i guess there's a chance he would lose his speakership. his speakership or the country. it's not a vote we have to get in the house is what i'm saying, joe, the a.m. tern tiff. we come back and say we want to cut taxes. do those house republicans vote no on that? no, they don't vote no on that. >> we shall see. >> i just don't think they do.
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>> they want to divide the country in half. >> it's not half. it's 98% versus 2%. they're looking like they are holding up the economy. >> why does everybody not get that. >> i think they do. >> i asked warren buffett, i keep hearing about people raising the rate. you're paying 14% taxes right now. if we raise the rate, you'll still be paying 14% in taxes. it if we raise it to 98%, you're still going to be paying 14% in taxes. there are a lot of people who think we should raise revenue and make the richest pay their fair share. what's wrong? actually doing something that makes warren buffett pay.
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how about a 30% rule that there's a 30%? >> we've tried it several ways. i think it's something i would be open to. we tried to surcharge and republicans wouldn't go with it. the 14% problem is something not being discussed right now. did we keep them hooked? i think 20% is not -- i think 20% would be, and steve should weigh in, in the business community i think everybody is comfortable with them staying hooked. >> there's not a rich man or woman on wall street whose
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investments habits will change. >> the proposal will take them from 15% to 20%. wherever the top rate ends up. democrats said capital gains should be 28% and he's a wall street guy. i think it should be higher. as warren buffett said on your show, when he finds a good investment, he doesn't say what's my tax rate? >> every time -- were you there for voting on the minimum tax? every time we try something like this people do find ways around it. >> they always do. i think that's likely to come next year. >> the top marginal rate for your wal street friends.
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a small business that makes $250,000. >> $300,000. >> so he gets taxed on $50,000. >> you feel my pain. look at the "washington post" poll. i think you brought this up earlier in the show who to blame if this doesn't work out. the congressional gop gets 53% as opposed to the president. >> it's almost 2-1. >> you know, give us a sense as to why, first of all, it goes there. i think we know. >> look at our primary process. >> okay. so look at the last year. look at the last two years. and the president has made this attempt on taxes.
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isn't that fair? >> sure that's where he starts. you grew up with parents, you have a starting point. and for somebody -- >> putting the house up for sale. but what i think is different for the president on this one is that he feels he's just won an election on this and that he will give anything but this. and that's going to make it tough. from '73 to '91. >> richard nixon, though, won 49 states the year before. richard nixon has a large
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mandate i had better blindly follow. that's what some democrats forgot, that if you're a congressman or a congresswoman and you won an election with 75% of your vote, as i did twh bill clinton -- >> exactly. >> hey, bill clinton has a mandate. >> every member of the house, it particularly given the primary system, as you just said, has won by a bigger mandate than the president has. and so they have a very strong view that they also have something to bring from the election to this process. you just have to get from here to there, as you say. senator mccaskill assures me we will. >> thank god. we need more women and then we will. >> and we need moderates. >> we need more people. >> men don't know how to compromise. >> democrats from louisiana. and people -- that was the genius of bill clinton. he was a democrat from arkansas that knew how to deal with both sides. >> the vote yesterday on the disability treaty was painful.
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>> with bob dole on the floor. >> terrible, terrible. >> you saw the people that were willing to be moderate in the republican caucus and several of them of the handful that voted for the treaty, several of them are leaving. the moderate caucus, if fear of primaries has become a real probl problem. >> it wasn't even a moderate vote. you're asking the rest of the world to follow the guidelines of a republican president who is very conservative son started pushing the treaty. this wasn't a moderate vote. >> it wasn't. we're actually exerting our standards on the rest of the world. >> it was a fact free -- and you look at, like, the co-sponsor of it voted no. bob corker will be ranking
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member of foreign relations. voted no. >> who else voted no? >> this is all a concern about the primary. >> jon kyl voted no? >> todd akin is going to beat them in the primary. >> it's about the primary. >> how did that work out for you, claire? >> very well. >> i won a hard fought primary. >> with $2.5 million of your dollars, might i add, senator. >> it's a bad sign when that question has to be asked, which rape guy won. senator claire mccaskill, great to have you. this has been -- i've had a lot of fun. you got interrupted a lot. >> and i do think -- >> let the record reflect i know when to shut my mouth. >> if there's not a deal by the end of the year, there will be a deal the first week in january. and the markets need to be aware this is not going to be, you know, some kind of complete meltdown. we will get a deal. it will come either at the point of the spear when the tax rates all go down or because they see the writing on the wall and there will be compromises democrats will make on
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entitlement reform. >> i think so. and the president is not playing for re-election. he's playing for the history books. >> and that's a good thing. >> you don't get it by having a meltdown. >> no, you don't. >> no, you don't. >> senator claire mccaskill, thank you very much. cokie roberts of abc news, thank you very much. the morning papers are next on "morning joe." if you are one of the millions of men who have used androgel 1%, there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%.
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marco is joining an elite group of past recipients for this award. two of us so far. i'll see you at the reunion dinner. table for two. do you know any good diners in iowa or new hampshire? >> thanks for your invitation for lunch in iowa and new hampshire but i will not stand by and watch the people of south carolina ignored. >> last night at the jack kemp award dinner. time now to take a look at the morning paper. we'll start with the dallas morning news. former president george w. bush called on the nation's leaders to take up the immigration debate with a benevolent spirit. however, he stopped short of endorsing a specific policy.
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the former president has listed failure to pass immigration reform as a disappointment of his tenure in the white house. >> presidents are never as great as you think they are in office. george w. bush this morning draws a reluctant -- >> veiled. >> veiled bit of praise. >> nasty. >> you look back on george w. bush getting slightly higher marks. i suspect the longer we get away from it, the more the marks will go up. >> it makes george bush look like a statesman. >> and the way he controlled the party and kept the party away. >> that was the obama contrast that i thought was the most
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effective. >> people view george bush in a good light. >> okay, to the "los angeles times." internet movie service netflix is elbowing its way into competition with tv giants by purchasing exclusive rights to disney movies. that includes pixar animated films and marvel movies as well as disney. stock rose 14% on the news. >> they really needed that. mika, you know what we need now? a story on male fertility. has dropped by a third over the last 17 years causing concern about fertility. evidence what may have contribute contributed to the decrease is
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not conclusive. >> you spend a lot of time in france. >> that will do it. when we come back, president obama makes his pitch to ceos. we have brian sullivan of cnbc here to tell us about it. ♪
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what's the business of the new york jets? the daily news is reporting this morning, and i know if he follows the jets but brian follows everything. "usa today" is reporting that rex ryan is going to start mark sanchez this weekend. what's going on here? business before the bell, man. this is bad business for the jets. >> maybe they're trying to strike some fear into the heart of sanchez like a pelican might in the nba to shake him up, i suppose. i'm a chargers fan so i have my own problems, man. >> are you a jets fan? >> we need to get to business before the bell. joe. >> he should be in trouble. >> luckily futures are indicating the markets will do better than the jets today. some good productivity data. how is that for a segway? >> wonderful. >> nothing like it. >> a report on friday. there you go.
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a 4dz 50 gift card. pay the people before the higher tack rates go up. the previous story before the break, the advice there is don't put your cell phone in your pocket. things melt. >> is that what happened? >> only in france. >> top ceos have been meeting with president obama. how is that going? >> 100-plus ceos will meet with the president and talk about, what else? the fiscal escarpment. >> thanks for being on way too early. great job. [ male announcer ] when it comes to the financial obstacles
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i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios tend to weigh less than those who don't. social security are just numbers thinkin a budget.d... well, we worked hard for those benefits. we earned them. and if washington tries to cram decisions about the future... of these programs into a last minute budget deal... we'll all pay the price. aarp is fighting to protect seniors with responsible... solutions that strengthen medicare and... social security for generations to come. we can do better than a last minute deal...
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that would hurt all of us.
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i'm meteorologist bill karins with your business foreca forecast. we will see a few showers exiting and could linger in the
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southeast. there were minor delays. the midwest is clear and colder today. but not bad for december. and the west coast still more shower weather from san francisco to sacramento northward. u 1% cash back on all purchases, plus a 50% annual bonus. and everyone likes 50% more... [ midwestern/chicago accent ] cheddar! yeah! 50 percent more [yodeling] yodel-ay-ee-oo. 50% more flash. [ southern accent ] 50 percent more taters. that's where tots come from. [ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card gives you 1% cash back on every purchase plus a 50% annual bonus on the cash you earn. it's the card for people who like more cash. 50% more spy stuff. what's in your wallet? this car is too small.
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welcome back to "morning joe." time to talk about what we learned today. steve, what did you learn? >> i thought dr. brzezinski's comments about the power of the american president and all the different ways it's been constrained over the last few years was quite fascinating. >> fascinating and he has an t article in foreign policy about that. >> foreign policy.com. >> what did you learn? >> one, no taking. >> there is success in failure providing you're the quarterback of the new york jets. >> i guess so. what it did you learn? >> i can't say. i've been on the phone wit